We’ve worked with Spectrum Care to create plain language online safety guides for people with an intellectual disability, and those who support them. Here is advice on how to get help if something happens online that upsets you or makes you feel uncomfortable.

Plain language: Where to get help guide.

Most of the time, the people you meet online will be nice and friendly. Sadly, you may sometimes come into contact with people who are not so nice. They may:

  • Call you names.
  • Wish you harm or encourage you to hurt yourself.
  • Try to make you do things you don’t want to do.
  • Try to make you do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or a bit funny.
  • Pretend to be your friend and ask you for money.

If this happens to you. Speak to someone you trust as soon as possible to ask for help. You can talk to your family, a support worker or someone you see at a group or centre you attend.

There are other people you can talk to. Here are three places you can go to to get help


Netsafe has people who can help keep you safe when you use the internet. Getting help from Netsafe is free and confidential. This means they will keep what you tell them a secret. They won’t tell anyone you have called them unless you say it’s okay.

Netsafe helps people with online bullying, abuse, harassment and other things that happen online that make you feel bad.

People at Netsafe can help you:

  • Work out what has happened.
  • Check if something is against the law.
  • Decide what to do.
  • Find someone else to talk to who can help.
  • Where to get help.

Find out more at netsafe.org.nz


CertNZ provides information and advice on how to keep your information safe and secure online. You can also report cyber security problems, such as emails asking you for personal information or money.

Find out more at cert.govt.nz

New Zealand Police / Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa.

Telephone 111 if you think:

  • You or someone else is in immediate danger from someone online.
  • If a crime has been committed.

Find out more from police.govt.nz

What happens when you contact Netsafe?

Netsafe offers a free service for people who have been harmed by something that happens online. We can offer support if what happened to you is covered by the government’s Harmful Digital Communications Act (HDCA). This law deals with subjects including:

  • If someone you talk to online threatens to show other people private images of you.
  • If someone you talk to online tells you to harm yourself.
  • If someone is saying something nasty or hateful about you online.
  • If someone keeps contacting you when you have told them not to.

Netsafe will:

  • Ask you questions to understand what has been happening to you. This is so we can check if the Harmful Digital Communications Act (HDCA) may apply to you.
  • Talk about ways to stop the abuse.
  • Suggest other people you can talk to who may be able to help if we can’t.

Contact Netsafe.

Call us toll-free on 0508 638 723.

Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282.

Email [email protected] for online safety help.

Report it online at report.netsafe.org.nz

We will continue to add to our plain language pages. Please get in touch if there is an area you think we should cover. Email your suggestions to [email protected]

Plain language: Where to get help (PDF, 3.2MB)


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